WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), chair emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, applauded the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for its decision on June 18 to cancel the trademark registrations for the Washington Redskins football team.
The board ruled that the team’s nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans.” Although cancellation of trademark protections doesn’t prevent the team from using the name, it applies new financial and political pressure for a name change.
“This is an issue that I have worked on for a long time,” Honda said. “I was a proud co-sponsor of a bill last year that would have assisted the Patent Office in this process. It is now time for the Washington team to move forward in the process of developing a new name that is not disparaging to specific groups of people. It is offensive to me that in 2014, we continue to have professional, collegiate and lower level sports teams that have names and mascots that are inappropriate. Words and names are powerful, and their impact cannot be underestimated.”